A father arrested for shooting his daughter said he was wrongfully accused of the murder.
At about 11:30 a.m. April 25, Federal Way officers responded to St. Francis Hospital where an 8-year-old girl suffering from a gunshot wound had been transported by a private vehicle, according to Cmdr. Kurt Schwan of Federal Way police.
The shooting occurred at an apartment complex in the 27900 block of Pacific Highway South, and police said “the 35-year-old father of the juvenile had been handling a firearm in the apartment when it discharged. The bullet traveled through three walls and struck the child in another room.”
The girl was transported to Harborview Medical Center on April 25, where she later died from her injuries.
The father, who was at the hospital with the girl, was arrested that night. He was booked into King County Jail in the early morning hours of April 26 on charges of domestic-violence assault and unlawful possession of a firearm. He was released on April 27 and no charges were filed.
The father, Cherith Wallace, told KIRO 7 he couldn’t have been the one to shoot her because he has no firearms in their home. Wallace also told KIRO 7 his daughter died while he was in custody.
As of April 29, King County Medical Examiners have not yet released the cause and manner of the girl’s death.
The Mirror has reached out to Wallace for comment.
On April 29, Schwan said probable cause was developed to arrest the father on the afternoon of the shooting based on the initial statement Wallace provided about being alone in his apartment with his child when she was shot, Schwan said.
Early information said Wallace was responsible for allegedly firing the gun, but Federal Way detectives have discovered two other individuals were in the apartment with the father when the shooting occurred.
“It was the father’s initial refusal to share this information with investigators and failure to identify the actual shooter that led to his arrest,” Schwan stated.
After further interviews with the father and one of the other two subjects allegedly in the apartment when the shooting occurred, the father was released and “the investigation shifted to locating the person who is now believed to have fired the fatal shot.”
Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact the Federal Way Police Department at 253-835-2121.